I was flailing around looking for something different to read or listen to when a fellow librarian suggested that I try "Bubbles: A Broad" by Sarah Strohmeyer. This is just one of a series of books about the crime-solving escapades of Bubbles Yablonsky. Bubbles is a feisty, very blonde, amateur detective who is trying to make the switch from beautician to star reporter for the local newspaper after eight or nine years of study at the local community college. Not such an easy task as it turns out. For starters, Bubbles is visited by a prison escapee right before her bedroom gets shot up. Then with little sleep she gets into a wrestling match with a socialite and an amateur photographer at a Historical Society function when she's on her try-out for the paper. All this leads to her try to solve the mystery of a Steel executive's death and get the scoop for the newspaper. She doesn't have it all bad though. Vying for her affections is the super sexy Steve Stiletto, who helps out where he can. Throw in a zany family to the mix and Strohmeyer's Pennyslvania-based series is an underrated read-alike for Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum mysteries.
Recommended by Cheryl Finnan